Vacations

  • Sprint Canoeing might not sound like the most engaging Olympic sport to spectate, but every event has some element that captivates the audience. For example, water polo is possibly the only sport played while the athletes wear bathrobes. Skeptical? During Olympic water polo matches approximately...

  • I suppose it begins 8 hours into our first day there. Stumbling out onto the streets of New York City with only five hours of sleep, we certainly looked the part of clueless tourists—my camera was slung around my neck while the rest of the family bore backpacks the size of their torsos. Our...

  • There is a strange, painful beauty in watching the forests burn. This must be why so many others have pulled over to the side of the highway, entire families leaning against their dusty cars, staring up at the mountains in silence as smoke spills over and fills the valley, enveloping the sleepy...

  • I have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. I imagine it would be beautiful to hike part of its 227-miles of length or to camp in the valley and stare up at the mile deep walls of rock. Instead, I went to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, which is a mere 50 miles long and 0.189394 miles deep (...

  • As a perfume fanatic and aspiring perfumer, I have wanted to visit Grasse ever since I learned it was the perfume capital of the world. I have had wild dreams featuring colorful meadows with rows and rows of beautiful flowers and overwhelming fragrances. In my mind, a perfumery was always sitting...

  • The thing I liked least about Paris was the rain. I had decided that because our we were taking our French river cruise during the summer, it was going to be sunny, and I was paying the price. When I had packed it hadn’t seemed like a big deal. I was going to wear warm the whole time and the...

  • My Dad always loved Russian literature. Every once in a while he’d plop down one of his books on my bed for me to read, but I never would pick it up. The books’ slow, tragic plots seemed overly sentimental to me, and I couldn’t even say the main characters’ names correctly.FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN...

  • When I heaved myself onto the dock, I was tinted yellow. I was also slightly oily, with subtle odors of mud and sulfur. I grinned at my reflection and breathed deeply, inebriated by the scent of crisp mountain air tainted by pond water which dripped from my eyelashes onto my nose. With goosebumps...

  • The heat of the Saharan sun beat down on our minivan full of sweaty, tired tourists.  The convection oven with wheels intensified my hunger and my deep craving for salty, deep-fried Americanism: a McDonald’s french-fry.  I had grown tired of the Moroccan special, tangine and mint tea, shortly upon...

  • I must admit, when my mother first pitched the idea of zip lining through the trees in the beautiful forests of Alaska, I was nervous, my mind instantly filled with questions and concerns. What if I don't like it? What if I mess up? And worst of all: What if I fall?QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN...

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